Reececliff Family Diner in Lakeland, Florida

Reececliff Family Diner - Lakeland, Florida
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Reececliff Family Diner (940 Florida Ave S) began its life as the Ducky-Mucky restaurant in 1934 Lakeland, Florida.

Inside the Reececliff Family Diner - Lakeland, Florida
Inside the Reececliff Family Diner

HISTORY

In 1935, Ed Attenburg sold his barbecue stand, Ducky-Mucky, to Reece and Clifford Stidham.

Classified from the Tampa Times September 03, 1934
Classified from the Tampa Times September 3rd, 1934

The Stidham’s niece Ruth Selman Murrell suggested the name change to Reececliff. Clifford was well known as a road contractor in the area. The restaurant life was brand new to Reece and Clifford, but they made it a family affair.

Ad with historical info about the Reececliff from the Tampa Tribune, July 4th 1977
Ad with historical info about the Reececliff from the Tampa Tribune, July 4th, 1977

During an interview with the Tampa Tribune in 1981, former World War II engineer Ken Beals recalled how the Reececliff was the only drive-in in Lakeland. He and the flyboys stationed at Drane Field nearby frequented the Reececliff to “drive in and park and have a Coke.

In 1953, the hiring of teenager Jeanette Mobley would prove to be an essential move. Mobley, aka Miss Jeanette, would bake pies at Reececliff until her retirement in 2013.

Pies were already on the menu, but the scratch-made pies would become the thing of Lakeland legend during those critical years. The pies have been a Thanksgiving staple in households for years.

In 2002, James Bronkhorst purchased the restaurant from the Stidham family.

Almost 20 years later, the Reececliff Cliff is still serving good ol’ diner food with the kind of service you’ll only find in a sleepy town.

RESTAURANT DECOR

Vintage Map
Historical Sketches
Vintage Building Picture
Horses & Cars
Reececliff Family Diner Vintage Aerial Restaurant Shot
1934 Aerial Restaurant Picture
Vintage Menu
Vintage Menu

MENU

Reececliff Family Diner Menu
Reececliff Family Diner Menu

DAILY SPECIALS

It was Monday, the day my wife Marcela and I had dinner at the Reececliff.

She chose one of the Daily Specials, the Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and garlic toast.

It was not only a thing of beauty, but it tasted great. If that meat sauce were bottled, I’d be all over buying a couple of jars.

Reececliff Family Diner Menu Specials
Reececliff Family Diner Menu Specials
Diner Specials Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Monday Daily Special of Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

BURGER SPOTLIGHT

I skipped out on the lettuce and tomato on my Reececliff Burger with cheese. Instead, I went straight old school with onion, pickles, and mustard. The crumbly meat that made up the burger patty was just divine.

I considered taking one back to the hotel and then laid eyes on their pies.

Reececliff Cheeseburger
Reececliff Burger with Cheese
BURGER NAMEOriginal Reececliff Burger with Cheese
COOKING METHODFlattop
CAN BE COOKED TO TEMPYes
SIZE8 ounces
STANDARD TOPPINGSLettuce, Tomato, Onions & Pickles on a Kaiser Bun
Burger Facts

Reececliff Pies

We were directed to the Reececliff by the server at another burger restaurant in town. Marcela asked her whether there were any pie and coffee spots worth a visit. She didn’t skip a beat and suggested the Reececliff.

It was a pleasant surprise to find out how great the food and vibe were, but they don’t hold a candle to the pies. The French Silk Pie needs to have its own wing in the Tasty Pie Hall of Fame.

Wow. Just wow.

Apple Pie ala Mode
Apple Pie ala Mode
French Silk Pie
French Silk Pie

So there you have it, a landmark restaurant in Lakeland, Florida, that you need to visit.

And if you’re in town during the holidays, do as the locals do and pick up a whole pie!

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